Ashes to Rocks

The preceding blog has been slightly modified. Begin to read the whole story of this special Sunday, September 14, 2014, by clicking here and follow by returning here.

After the memorial service in the Marion Mennonite Church Cemetery the immediate family left cousins and friends to fulfill the wish of my brother that his ashes be scattered on the rocks of Pennsylvania. Trusting Kyle, we followed him as he traveled toward the mountains, and turned off on an unpaved road leading into a forest.

heels and caneThe trailAfter what seemed like a long drive, we finally came to a parking place and the beginning of a trail.  It was not a steep path, but it was rocky with beautiful green moss between rocks and lichens clinging to bark. It was challenging for women with heels and the old man with a cane.

Rocks 5IMG_0551This old man hopes that he never forgets the strengths he felt in Emma’s young hand and arm as she gently led him up the path to the rocks. (Nora was the photographer.} The effort was rewarded with the sight of huge boulders and a deep crevasse. Kyle had kept his promise.

IMG_0550When all had gathered with her, Ruth in turn gave each a cup of ashes. We scattered them with joyous laughter mingled with tears. Ruth cried, “Dad, you’re free” as she tossed his ashes.

KyleIn the end, at Ruth’s request Kyle climbed the top boulder and emptied the bag of all the ashes.

leavingWe quietly left the boulders, knowing that what we had done was to John’s liking.  As we walked toward the setting sun we listened with sad joy to John’s favorite song, “I did it my Way,” sung by Frank Sinatra.

I still have eighteen copies of John’s book “ME, Musings of a Dirty Old Man” which he self published and gave many away. I will send a copy to any one who makes a donation through paypal to cover cost of shipping.

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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5 Responses to Ashes to Rocks

  1. Marilyn Slabach says:

    What a journey for you, and you allowed so many of us to “travel” with you via the internet. Inspiring.

  2. Ira Sollenberger says:

    Martin: I enjoy your posts about your brother John. I remenber one Sunday morning years ago when we could not have servives at Pleasnt View because of water in the basement so our family went to Marion that Sunday. Your brothe, John, was my Sunday School teacher that Sunday. On another Sunday evening several years later Eldon Crider were sitting in the back of the church and were talking and John came babk and said we were getting to loud. An embarrassing situation. I would like to buy one of John’s books but am not quite sure how to pay for it using PayPal.

    Ira Sollenberger

  3. Merle Cordell says:

    I’ve enjoyed your blogs.
    I’d like a copy of John’s book and will gladly make a donation to more and pay for costs.
    But I’m not good enough with a computer to do it your way.


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